All hands on deck for Rotary workshop

Fraser Coast people are being invited to open their hearts and wallets to give landmine victims a new lease on life with donations of prosthetic hands.

Rotary Club of Maryborough Sunrise President Glenda Pitman said that each month, about 20,000 people including children were injured in landmine accidents.

“In more than 60 countries across the world, there are more than 300,000 live landmines still in the ground,” Mrs Pitman said.

“A wonderful program has been established in Rotary District 9570 to allow Australians to come together to learn a little of the challenges faced by people with arm limb injuries while building a simple mechanical prosthetic hand to donate to a victim.

“Twice a year, volunteers (paying their own costs) travel to the sub-continent to work with local Rotary Clubs and other local groups to fit hands to identified recipients.  Three trips are planned for 2016 – to Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Laos.

“Generally, a simple prosthetic limb on the sub-continent costs more than AUD $3000.

“Here in Australia, a complex digitized prosthetic can cost over $70,000.

“The Helping Hands Program provides opportunities for groups of two or three people to come together to build a hand for donation for the low cost of $400 per hand.

“But, there is a catch.  So that participants can gain an appreciation of how difficult life without a limb can be, teams work with a covering on their dominant hand and sit side by side.

“Participants also decorate the case that the hand is delivered in and have their photo and a message included.  When hands are distributed, the recipient’s photo is taken and sent to the hand makers.

“Can you donate $400 to $4000 and a few hours of your time to change the life of a landmine victim?

“Hand kits are must be pre-purchased in lots of 10.  The more sponsors we can find, the more hands we can deliver.  The Rotary Clubs in Maryborough will arrange for a minimum of two kits to be available for purchase.

“This is a wonderful team building exercise and all donations are acknowledged. ”

Please contact Maria on (ah) 4121 6421 or or Robyn on (ah) 4121 5001 if you would like further information or to reserve hands.

See Jocelyn’s Helping Hands photo gallery

*A Rotary Facebook link to the SEVEN LOCAL NEWS report reached 6289 people, with 1.8k views and 50 shares.

Port Douglas Carnivale sails into tropical North Qld

SHOWCASING the best of the region’s abundant produce and fresh ingredients from land and sea, world class wines, market stalls, international Port Douglasentertainers, local musicians and artists plus a stack of family fun, Port Douglas Carnivale is one of Australia’s premiere cultural events.

This year, the Carnivale program will feature festival favorites plus a variety of exciting new events including the Wonderland Spiegeltent as the new star attraction and Festival Hub venue. The Spiegeltent will present a lively program of thrilling acrobatic circus, vivacious cabaret, sizzling burlesque and hilarious comedy acts from 12-22 May including headliner and Irish funnyman Jimeoin on 19 May.

A long lunch communal dining experience, Paradise on a Plate, will be held within the opulent surrounds of the authentic Belgian Spiegeltent with its original early 20th century décor including colorful stained glass windows, velvet drapings and warm wood furnishings. The four-course luncheon will be a tropical gourmet delight with the added dazzle of festive entertainment accompanying each course.

The inaugural Port On A Fork Food and Wine Festival will feature specially created signature dishes by top local chefs which uniquely capture the essence of Port Douglas. From freshly caught seafood and organically farmed meats Port Douglasto exotic produce and award-winning wines, this new dining experience held in a park oasis by the sea is sure to be a foodie favorite.

For art lovers, Art in the Park will bring renowned and local artists together to exhibit their works. Showcasing a range of visual arts mediums, artwork will be on sale so visitors can take a piece of paradise home with them.

There’s also heaps of Family Fun on offer with events devoted to sun and fun including a Beach Day Party and Kite Festival, Beach Volleyball and Sand Sculpting Competitions, Carnivale Wonders of the World Street ParadeChildren’s Puppet Shows, and much more.

For event dates, booking and more information on Port Douglas Carnivale 2016, visit

 Port Douglas

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Hartog’s pewter plate marks Australia’s first European landing

TOMORROW (January 23) marks 400 years to the day since Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog left the Netherlands on his epic journey during which he famously stumbled on the island, now known as Dirk Hartog Island, off the coast of Shark Bay in Western Australia on 25 October 1616.

Long before Captain James Cook landed on the east coast of Australia in 1770, Hartog had left a pewter plate as a mark of his discovery in Western Australia.

Hartog’s journey would see him play a major part in the world’s cartography as the first recorded European to leave evidence of contact with Australian soil.

As a by-product of spice and commodity trade in the Indonesian islands lying above Australia, a chief cartographer was put in place by Dutch East Indian Trading to have a secret atlas of maps which included Australia or “New Holland” as it was known for 150 years.

Although Australia wasn’t seen as a trading opportunity, the Dutch mapped two-thirds of the mysterious continent known as “Terra Australis Incognita”, later renamed Australia by the British.

Today the area is known as the Shark Bay World Heritage Area – a wonderland of world-class natural marine and land-based attractions married with a rich indigenous culture.

Land forms include the 100km Shell Beach, the extraordinary Stromatolites (found only in three places globally) and the Zuytdorp Cliffs stretching from Kalbarri to Shark Bay.

Marine encounters include the Monkey Mia dolphins, the second largest population of dugongs in the world, migrating humpback whale, rare loggerhead turtles and the occasional whale shark.

Dirk Hartog Island is Western Australia’s largest island and offers a peaceful retreat of beautiful scenery, ideal for four-wheel driving with its white sandy beaches perfect for snorkelling or fishing.

The Island has significant biodiversity conservation values with more than 250 native plant species, 81 species of birds and 27 species of reptiles, many of which were on the brink of extinction.

It is also a major nesting area for loggerhead turtles with about 400 breeding annually with hatchlings expected in March.

To celebrate the 400 year anniversary of the landing on the island, a four-day festival – the Dirk Hartog Voyage of Discovery: Shark Bay 1616, will held in Shark Bay from Friday October 21 to Tuesday October 25, 2016.

The 1606 replica Dutch ship, the Duyfken, will depart Western Australia’s Fremantle Harbour on August 28, 2016 and visit the Coral Coast towns of Jurien Bay, Dongara and Geraldton along the way to Denham, and will be available for public tours at each port of call.

Additionally, history and sailing enthusiasts can cruise to the festivities on board the tall-ship Leeuwin II departing Fremantle on Friday 14 October, arriving in Shark Bay Friday October 21, 2016.

For more information on the event series, travel planning or history of Dirk Hartog Island, visit Australia’s Coral Coast.


PHOTO: Dolphins surfing Urchin Point at Dirk Hartog Island, by Chris Woods photography. Courtesy of Australia’s Coral Coast.

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